by David Ammons | November 25th, 2009
As forecast by Secretary Reed, about 51 percent of the state’s 3.6 million registered voters cast ballots in this month’s general election.
That’s about average for an off-year election with few statewide contests. Falloff from last year’s record 85 percent turnout for the presidential-gubernatorial election was expected. Wider use of vote-by-mail, including King County this year, two much-debated statewide ballot measures, and assorted local races did keep the turnout in the more-than-50 percent range.
The 39 counties submitted their final certified tallies to the state Elections Division on Wednesday, and will be certified by Secretary Reed and Governor Gregoire next Tuesday. Statewide, the counties reported total turnout of over 1.8 million voters. That was 50.88 percent of their registered voters.
Columbia County had the highest turnout (72.2 percent), followed by San Juan (68 percent), Jefferson (64.7 percent), Garfield (61.3 percent), Lincoln (61.2 percent), and Ferry (60.9 percent).
King, the largest county, reported 574,298 votes, or 53.2 percent. Snohomish reported 180,794 ballots, or 48.6 percent. Pierce counted 175,398 votes, or 43 percent, and Spokane had 133,514 or 51.9 percent.
The statewide tally showed that voters approved Referendum 71, upholding the new law expanding domestic partner benefits, by a margin of over 113,000, or 6.3 percent. Voters rejected Initiative 1033, dealing with revenue limits for state, county and city governments and enacting property tax relief, by a margin of nearly 16 percent.